Hot Chip
Made in the Dark



by The Jungler USER (183 Reviews)
February 15th, 2008 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A quirkier, though far less impressive, outing for the UK electronica goons.

When I first heard that the title of Hot Chip’s newest album was to be “Made In the Dark” I smiled a little, dismissing it as the kind of stupid little ironic sex joke the band usually employ. One thing’s for sure though, I definitely didn’t expect the album’s title track to be so sad, so slow, or so serious. I might have expected it to be a little better, a little catchier, but I guess the same can be said for the whole album.

After all, when Hot Chip’s The Warning came out a couple years ago, it really did surprise me. Not only was it likable and fun, it was also meticulously crafted, well-written and even semi-emotional. There were a handful of tracks on said CD that really made me question my integrity as a serious music listener: in a year that birthed Joanna Newsom’s Ys and Liars’ Drum’s Not Dead, these were some of my favorite songs of the year.

Made in the Dark, and I mean the album here, isn’t quite as good. It has a couple songs where the blend of hip-hop beats, un-funny lyrics and layered synthesizer chaos adds up to more than it should be worth, but that phenomenon doesn’t occur often. Not like it did on The Warning, or at least, not like it did for me. The star of the album is obvious from the beginning: the only thing Made in the Dark has that The Warning really didn’t. It’s the beats. Yeah, on Made in the Dark, Hot Chip really has the drum machines working overtime. On The Warning, beats were an afterthought: listening, I’d find myself far more interested in the medley of tones and pads employed than what was holding it together. But that’s because there’s nothing as interesting or complex as ‘Ready For the Floor’, a really tight, intricate mesh of staccato synths, maddening loops and drum machine discharge. Joe Goddard’s voice begins the track, and remains a constant till the end. His tone is composed, only slightly melodic, but not dissonant by any means. Look at a picture of him, and you will know exactly what he sounds like. I mean it.

There’re a lot of fumbles here unfortunately, a couple tepid ballads, a lot of irritating goon-hop, and a couple songs that go on for far too long (though most of those fall under one of the former categories.) However, the band impress again on ‘Touch too Much’, possibly the album’s best track. Placed directly after one of the band’s most tepid ballads and one of their more irritating goon-hoppy ones, Touch too Much shines even more the brighter. It’s the clattering percussion, the shaking of the tambourine, the big synthesizers: everything one would hope for from a Hot Chip album, just a bit too alone in that manner. Perhaps the biggest factor in setting Touch too Much apart from its contemporaries is its vocal hook: Goddard and backing singer Alexis Taylor harmonize lazily, repeating the lines “When you said “It’s a touch too much”/I knew, I knew/That I’d be walking home again” while keyboards swell and synthetic beats pulsate. It’s a good song, but not good enough to save an album of significantly sub-par ones, unfortunately.

- Joe

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user ratings (150)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 16th 2008


awesome over bad band
why oh why =(

February 16th 2008


Look at a picture of him, and you will know exactly what he sounds like.

So true. Great review, I would have to agree mostly, though I've only heard about half of the tracks so far. Not sure if I will check out the rest. Shake a Fist is pretty sweet though, if it's the one I'm thinking of.

February 16th 2008


I pretty much agree with this review entirely, though I still need to listen to this a bit more.

February 16th 2008


The singer looks like the dude from Devo.

February 16th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, although I like this a fair bit more than you do. I'm on the fence between a 3.5 and a 4 for this album, but I'll go with a 3.5 because I think they could have done better.

But yeah, nice review.

February 18th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

Coming On Strong > Made in the Dark > The Warning

I think this is pretty good, a return to form after The Warning which only really had good singles in my oppinion.

February 18th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

honestly, this is my favorite of their cds. this is not to say that it doesn't have its failing moments ... i just think the strong points are the best hot chip have produced yet.

February 26th 2008


I actually like this less than you do, I was very disappointed with it, some tracks go into self-parody territory. Nice review though

February 27th 2008


ready for the floor is fucking awful! seriously, i can't believe people actually fall for shit like that.

Electric City
March 11th 2008


I reaaaallly like Ready For The Floor. So Fuck you.This Message Edited On 03.10.08

March 11th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

I go totally tourettes whenever Ready For The Floor comes on. And that groove in Shake A Fist makes my face explode, every time.

March 11th 2008


I listened to like the first half of the album at the myspace stream, and liked it, but I started to bore, and the only part I can remember is when one guy says: "we are doing some weird shit" and they start getting all weird, which was the part I mostly enjoyed.

February 16th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

pleasant surprise of an album, some really good songs on here and even the weaker ones are at least listenable...guess i gotta check out their older stuff

January 28th 2012


like basically every hot chip album, this has 2 or 3 great tracks and a load of mediocre filler. Surprised all their records have such low ratings though

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